Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teachers and Online Networking

School is a very busy place. A classroom teacher can actually go days not communicating with another professional with more than "Hi, how's it going?" This isolation can no only sap the dynamic flow of teaching ideas, but can take an emotional toll also. What's a teacher to do? Communicate online, not only for professional input, but also emotional support.

How To Build Your Professional Learning Network Online and Offline


"I feel so stuck. Nobody seems to get my ideas or feel my passion for teaching.”
If you are like me, I am sure you have said this at least five times a day. What is a lone nut to do? I was surrounded by others who were great teachers, but didn't want to change. I was stuck. That was, until I found the magic of a PLN, and since then, I haven't had to utter those words anymore. I finally feel accepted, understood, and supported by amazing educators.

Yes, having the privacy of online communication--those you visit with, it is all by choice--makes a difference. You aren't judged by the school culture's standards of age, gender, appearance--you are known by what you write. It's kind of liberating.

Online Social Networking for Educators


We’re showing that it (professional networking) can provide productive professional development opportunities that were previously available only to those lucky enough to attend conferences.” 

Being in-the-loop of the latest educational trends while sitting in your family room--this is the best of the internet. Geography used to be a huge qualification for acceptance and opportunity in the educational field. A teacher, professor, or educational writer needed connections in New York, Boston, San Francisco or Chicago. Now those connections are online. Ah, the equity of this!

Social Networks For Teachers On The Rise As Popular Social Media Raise Concerns 


The survey revealed interesting data on less common social-network use among educators. For instance, 27 percent of respondents use Edmodo, the social learning site that is as much a classroom-management tool as it is a network. That's up from 3 percent in 2007 and equal to membership on Google+, the search giant's much-ballyhooed social endeavor. Ranking second behind Edmodo was edWeb, with usage by 15 percent of respondents.

I have also found Google+ an interesting resource, but Twitter can be very effective when you keep your Twitter community for educational uses. 

And here are some of my own thoughts on this subject:

ePLNs for Teachers –Getting Connected 


Teachers: Now is the time to connect online!


And here's some big news:

Teacher leaders meet in online community

Commit to Lead invites members to post quick ideas—in under 300 words—that advance teacher leadership in their school, district or state to address a pressing problem in education and improve student outcomes. 

 “Commit to Lead directly engages educators in defining what teacher leadership can and should look like in their communities, so that collectively we can help make teacher leadership part of the fabric and culture of every school,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “It builds on the great work that already exists in the field, and invites the creation of new ideas. It represents one step in our ongoing commitment to listen to educators and support their vital leadership of their profession.”

 Should be a very interesting conversation.

Here are websites that will help you develop your professional network online:

EdutopiaMindShiftKQED, EdudemiceSchoolNews, and Understood also National Center for Learning Disabilities.

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